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Barbara Jordan

Barbara Jordan
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Brian Lanker, 31 Aug 1947 - 13 Mar 2011
Sitter
Barbara Jordan, 21 Feb 1936 - 17 Jan 1996
Date
1988
Type
Photograph
Medium
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions
Image: 70.8 × 70.7 cm (27 7/8 × 27 13/16")
Sheet/Mount: 81.1 × 75.2 cm (31 15/16 × 29 5/8")
Mat: 89.8 × 88.9 cm (35 3/8 × 35")
Frame: 92.7 × 91.4 × 4.4 cm (36 1/2 × 36 × 1 3/4")
Topic
Interior
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Vehicle\Wheelchair
Costume\Outerwear\Coat\Jacket
Barbara Jordan: Female
Barbara Jordan: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
Barbara Jordan: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Professor\University
Barbara Jordan: Politics and Government\US Congressman\Texas
Barbara Jordan: Politics and Government\State Senator\Texas
Barbara Jordan: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; partial gift of Lynda Lanker and a museum purchase made possible with generous support from Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker, Agnes Gund, Kate Kelly and George Schweitzer, Lyndon J. Barrois Sr. and Janine Sherman Barrois, and Mark and Cindy Aron
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Brian Lanker Archive
Object number
NPG.2021.118
Exhibition Label
Born Houston, Texas
“There seems to be a chilling of opportunity rather than an enlivening and enhancing of opportunity. But to me, that should just be the spark that energizes you to get out there and do things.”
— Barbara Jordan
When voters in Texas’s Eighteenth District elected Barbara Jordan to Congress in 1972, she became the first Black congresswoman from the Deep South. With her serious demeanor and magisterial voice, Jordan stood out among first-term colleagues and long-serving members alike. She distinguished herself as a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate scandal and made an eloquent case for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. After three terms in Congress (1973–79), she retired to teach political ethics at the University of Texas at Austin.
Jordan remained a strong advocate for justice. While serving as chair of the Commission on Immigration Reform in 1995, she denounced a proposal to deny birthright citizenship to children born in the United States to undocumented parents.
Doing so, she declared, “would derail this engine of American liberty.” Jordan’s powerful voice was stilled just a year later, when she died at the age of fifty-nine.
Nacida en Houston, Texas
“Parece que han menguado las oportunidades, en vez avivarse y mejorar. Pero creo que esa precisamente debe ser la chispa que te impulse a salir al mundo y actuar.”
— Barbara Jordan
Al ser elegida para el Congreso en 1972 por los votantes del 18vo distrito de Texas, Barbara Jordan se convirtió en la primera mujer negra del sur profundo del país en dicho cuerpo legislativo. De gesto serio y voz imponente, Jordan sobresalía entre sus colegas, fueran recién llegados o veteranos. Se distinguió en el Comité Judicial de la Cámara de Representantes durante el escándalo de Watergate con elocuentes alegatos para residenciar al presidente Richard Nixon. Al cabo de tres términos en el Congreso (1973–79), se retiró para enseñar ética política en la Universidad de Texas en Austin.
Jordan siguió siendo una ferviente defensora de la justicia. Como directora de la Comisión para la Reforma Migratoria en 1995, denunció una propuesta para negar el derecho de ciudadanía a niños nacidos en EE.UU. de padres indocumentados. Esto, declaró, “descarrilaría el tren de la libertad estadounidense”. Su poderosa voz quedó en silencio con su muerte en 1996, a los 59 años.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
I Dream a World: Selections from Brian Lanker’s Portraits of Remarkable Black Women (Part 1)
On View
NPG, North Gallery 220